Giving up the Snicker bar for the Full Course Meal

25 02 2013

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. – Malachi 3:10

I have dated a lot of snicker bars. Most have been good guys, but snicker bars nonetheless.

I realized this recently after hearing a sermon at church and then engaging in a conversation with a dear friend of mine. Both the sermon and conversation struck me pretty instantly, as they were about how we hold on tight to the things we have in life even when God is telling us to release them so He can provide us with more than we could ever imagine. Now, usually, this message is applied to tithing – the concept of giving God 10% of your gross – but as the minister explained in the sermon, our money is not the only place in which God asks us to sacrifice what we think we need, so that He can give us what we really need.

And upon reflection recently, I realized that this included some of the men in my life.

Now because I’m me – I had to break it down to really understand the message. “So basically, God is saying ‘hand over that snicker bar you’ve been holding onto that can only slightly satisfy you, that can only hold you over until the next hunger pain comes, that’s only really a band-aid to the real desires of your heart – and I’ll supply you with a full course meal. But you have to have the faith to let the snicker bar go first.'”

“Right,” my friend said, chuckling.  But even though she laughed at my analogy,  she also said that it was a pretty good way of breaking it down. And she had confirmation of that very concept in her life, as well. She’d seen firsthand the benefits of letting someone go who was a good guy, but not the guy for her. Since then, she’d come into so many blessings that she didn’t even expect, not the least of which was meeting the man whom she now called her fiance. And all of this came to pass not because the other guy was gone, but because she was obedient even when she didn’t want to be.

And so I thought about it. And thought about how many times I’ve dated guys that I knew wouldn’t last longer than a few months or how many times I’ve held onto guys that may have been good men, but I knew weren’t good men for me. How many times I tried to force a situation to work out because either “he was the right guy on paper,” or “everyone loved him,” or “he was an exciting fish in a pool full of unexciting prospects” or maybe even because “I loved him.” The answer, not-surprisingly, was quite a few. But why, I wondered.

Why, if I’m presented with a deal such as that (give me that little piece of candy and I’ll supply all your needs), do I hesitate and worry and question and get frustrated and lash out and of all things, hold on even tighter to that damn piece of candy? Why have I gotten angry and at times felt like God forgot about me? Why did I do the exact opposite of what He’s asking and then wonder why I keep finding myself hurt and confused?

And then I realized. It’s because faith is so much easier to handle when it’s discussed intellectually. But when it’s brought down to its elemental core and it’s applied to our specific lives, then it’s so not cut and dry. I can speak all day long about faith being an action word and how God is pleased by our faith and how it is the substance of things not seen, but the real question was how well was I actually applying it to my life. How willing was I to let go of the things I wanted when God said no?

In some things – really well. I’ve seen the manifestation of my faith in my career and in many of my other aspirations. But in those quiet moments, in the still of the night in my apartment, when questioning my relationships, I’d be lying if I said that was what I always relied on. I mean, how else do you explain all the snicker bars? All the men I’ve dated and not-so-much-dated who I knew weren’t right (whether it was a loud trumpet type of knowing or that quiet whisper telling me to move on), but refused to give up for whatever reason I thought of at the time?

And I’ve come up with some good reasons, y’all, to stay. Reasons like…

  • I didn’t try hard enough the first time around.
  • He didn’t get a chance to see the real me.
  • I was judgmental in the beginning.
  • Maybe I don’t need that spark/chemistry to make things work?
  • But it was, like, fate – how we met!
  • But we came back into each others’ lives – see? Fate! (again)
  • He gets me.
  • He really likes me. Like, a lot. So maybe I should like him?
  • He needs me.
  • I don’t know who I am without him.

And on and on, I’d make excuses. I’d give all these reasons for why God was wrong and why I really needed that snicker bar… and I was never free. So now – I’m trying something different. Actually, I’ve been working on it for quite some time, but I’m telling you all about it now.

I’m giving up my snicker bars. I’m letting go of the things that are no longer fulfilling in my life. I’m jumping out there and trusting God’s plan. And I’m nervous as heck, and in some instances – it hurts more than I can dare to write here, but I’m also really really hopeful for the future.




6 responses

26 02 2013

This brought tears to my eyes. It was right on time for my life. And my friends! I read it aloud to my friend and she said “this is everything I’ve ever thought in my head! I want to print this out and read it every day.” Thank you so much for writing this. It was truly a gift to me 🙂

26 02 2013

Awww I’m so touched and very glad the post was able to help you and your friends!

Now, you guys have brought tears to my eyes! (in a good way lol)

27 02 2013

Yes! Amen! I absolutely love your snickers analogy because its so true. We spend more time justifying relationships than we do actually being in one. i struggle with this one all the time, really truly blindly trusting God and not just pretending to hand over the reins to my life. Great post! And those two verse…hit the nail on the head. I missed church this week. Thank you for providing my Wed night bible study, lol.

28 02 2013

Thanks so much for the feedback, and you know – really truly blindly trusting God is one of my greater struggles too (clearly, right? lol). I don’t know what it is, but it’s just so HARD sometimes.

Your Wed night bible study comment is so funny, but I’m glad you feel like it touched you like that lol.

6 03 2013
Running from Love | Choices, Voices, and Sole

[…] the longest time, I talked that talk. Just like with faith, I could quote scripture about love and talk about how it was a verb and not just a feeling, but I […]

8 04 2013
On the Difficulty of One Particular Snicker bar | Choices, Voices, and Sole

[…] in February, I mentioned to you guys that I was letting go of my snicker bars. And I’ve been doing pretty well on that end, not just in physically letting go – but […]

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